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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Work in Progress - What we have been Reading.

  Work in Progress - What we have been Reading.


Speak to me, strange bird of strangeness


------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------

I then saw a clown of motley wearing: it was a Great Clown who of motley was wearing and he entered, bowed, and walked about The Stage bearing a sign. It said:

              WITNESSS YE:


            OF GOD'S  LOVE


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




serene ocean rolled eastwards from me a thousand leagues of blue.

     There is one knows not what sweet mystery
about this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul
beneath; like those fabled undulations of the Ephesian sod over the buried
evangelist, St. John. And meet it is, that over these sea-pastures,
wide-rolling, watery prairies and Potter’s Fields of all four continents, the
waves should rise and fall, and ebb and flow unceasingly; for here, millions of
mixed shades and shadows, drowned dreams, somnambulisms, reveries; all that we
call lives and souls lie dreaming, dreaming, still; tossing like slumberers in
their beds; the ever-rolling waves but made so by their restlessness.

                                                         …pacings and pausings…


          This Plato world of mystical
mathematicism – it appealed to me, I to it. We sat, the Geist and I, looking at
each other…or did we look through each other to an infinite regress of teapots
and inkspots in fervent mirrors?

     What were we and why were we?

         …deep sadness is my sea…


    ,so struck was he by that brief abyss of
absolute reality between two bogus fulgurations of fabricated life.

  The revelled, and they travelled, and they
flew back…

                  but how did all this begin?


                                                  I like ideas, or the feeling of ideas, or the feeling and the excitement
of having an idea…but I cannot resolve anything…well…not much…I am too much
myself…I need a big car…


                           IN MY IS MY


                         Heads float about me;
come and go, absorb me;

                         Terrify me that they
deny the nightmare

                         That they could be,
defy me

                         And all the secrecy,
the horror of truth

                         Drifting, ah God,
along the corridors

                         Of the world; hearing
the metal

                         Clang; and the
rolling wheels.

                         Heads float about me

                         By solitary sorrows.




   But numbers, they too have their place.
We, ourselves, shall try to remember the numbers…

    The island always seemed to have the
effect of a magic wand.

                           I do not wish to
write of an illness that left a man bereft in mind, but I wished to write a
book for a man, unique and alone.

     The car continued on. I looked around,
discovering the colours and shapes of an unknown city

                       The infinite cave of
memory, immeasurably full of immeasurable things… 

                                           Was it the numbers?

  …pointless to describe

                                                             IN MY

                                                BEGINNING END


                                   surely this
has to lead to something?

                                                  Will we not ‘reach conclusion’ …

                                    even in a
rented house?


                  amenable to subtle shades of




Name Me!
– Go on – violate me!

 Brave man, woman, child, being – living on
the edges or on the silent dots that once roared or bubbled, sighed or sang; he
comes soon to ending brief as candles – seeking love in the eternal coldness.

 Some how, one day, it all stops. But else
goes on. There is no stopping it – the joy, the torment, the old, the young,
the children, the wars in the East, West, the peace, the moments of decision,
the resolve, the collapsing civilizations and the ever-new beginnings. The

We are
trapped in it all. What are we?




is your turn.

maker make if make: you can. We are on the edges of the outside all we can do
is wait and act. We are where we are. We are. Our action has the beauty of
futility and yet we proceed. You can join in.

What you
do is not of concern. You are as good as anyone. You are maker. You “owe
yourself” as they say. Inside the potential box anything is possible. Work from

listen to the negative thoughts. Just do. If you at least act you have achieved
and hat can be a beginning.  Forget any
ideas of being ‘the greatest’. All that might come. You purpose (whatever it is
it will be what you make it) will be your s and it will not be to outdo some
other. This is not to forget that humans compete etc But let’s not count the
score.  Let us make. Forget the contempt
of critics. Do it for the sheer animal joy of making.  Thus you may begin to grow. You are worthy.  Only you can know yourself.



















 So strange, so twisted strange, that he grew into his own strangeness.






                                            Aby Warburg

 One day in 1920, the philosopher Ernest Cassirer asked to visit
the famous Warburg library, established thirty years before by Aby Warburg.
Following Warburg’s conceptions of the universe, books on philosophy were set
next to those on astrology, magic and folklore, and art compendiums rubbed
covers with works of literature and religion, while manuals on language were
placed next to volumes of theology, poetry and art. Cassirer was taken through
the uniquely organized collection by the assistant director, Fritz Saxl and at
the end of the tour he turned to his host and said, “I’ll never come back here.
If I returned to this labyrinth, I’d end up losing my way.”

 Years later, Cassirer explained his panic: “[Warburg’s] library
isn’t simply a collection of books but a catalogue of problems. And it isn’t
the thematic fields of the library that provoked me to this overwhelming
impression, but rather the library’s very organizing principle, a principle far
more important than the mere extension of the subjects covered. Here indeed,
the history of art, the history of religion and myth, the history of
linguistics and culture were not only placed side by side, but linked one to
the other and all linked in turn to a single ideal center.” After Warburg’s
death in 1929, Cassirer compared the shelves of the library’s reading room to,
built to follow the elliptical shape of the walls, to “the breath of a
magician.” For Cassirer, Warburg’s books, arranged according to the intricacies
of his thought, were, like the books of Prospero, the strong hold of his life’s


-   -    -            -          -              -               -       -               -                -       -               -

             struggle to ……                 there is
a……                deep …………..

                         ………..the awful ……………

                                              … the


                              …               ………to …..


                            ….to know   ……….. to know

                                              ……… know

---        ----                -----                ----                       - -                 -----           - - -           -



float about

                 Lines and line breaks are tied up with the time a
poem takes, with a person’s pacings and pausings.

          ….In Creeley…the effect can  be wonderfully subtle and satisfying – especially in a poem like
‘I know a man’ which seems to set sudden leaps of nervous possibility against
an underlying sense of powerlessness.

                The way Creeley shapes his lines also gives you the
impression that his poem is thinking itself into existence as it goes along.

                                 ‘And no story is, bad as it is,
truthful.’ (Cervantes in Don Quixote.)

 … a catalogue of problems…


                         ….linked one to the other…..

                                …. all of them linked to

               a single ideal center……..

                                                        V E N E Z I A

[Written on one of those gimmick
pens with a boat floating in it, which someone gave me]

                           the blue, the all-embracing sky…



                         his staff was of every colour…

The monk Ambrosia wandering
gloomily among crypts…The mystery of darkness.

                                …through, reduced to yellow blades
astir with an infinity of particles…

                                    as  if Hughes  had  been

                   it was erased into our lives

                         is my is my is my is
my is my is my is my is my is my is my is my is my

                         is my is my is my is
my is my is my is my is my is my is my is my is my

                Why, you might ask, does he do it?

Well,   I …

                       I like doing it.

                                         …pacings and pausings…

                              “…Irretreviably lost!…”

‘ Like a panther bound, like a
panther bound,

               he paces in
his cell…

  his malady of mind.’

                                    Steve Boreham (and old friend
c.a. 1969)

We learn as children the
metaphysics of the infinite and infinitesmal calculus, although we are unaware
of what we are learning…One chooses a profession that involves only five and a
half centuries because as a child one day dreamed about the infinitude of vichy
water tins.

         I began rummaging…

       Please understand: these are my writings. I write
with different pens, this one is “uniball”, but you may not feel or see it as I
see or feel it. I must, at this moment write with this
pen. Not the other. You must understand. 

[And remember or note that in the
first instance I will have written this out by hand in notebook and transferred
it here. The very process of writing is one thing I want: the pressure on my
fingers and hand, the nib moving across the page, the ink flowing to the page
and then the appearance of a mark or sign, and the beauty of that meaningless
sign. But it may acquire a semantic power… but it does not require it. We are
limited beings.

The writing becomes mine. But it
is also yours. Hence it is ours. Or it is now “new writing” it is my creative
‘uncreative’ writing. Not as in that by Kenneth Goldsmith who does interesting
projects in “uncreative writing”, but creative to the extent that I place them
on the page n my own way. ..and might fragment them, or play around with fonts
and artwork associated. Of course the base writing was by the writers I have
read –I’m not claiming to have written what they wrote – but I do claim that my
use (and collaging rearranging or using texts in some cases) of these various
works constitutes my own work as we are ating context, or replacement and
organized placement of these signs and lines by myself. Then a reader may or
may not find their way to “reorganize” them as he or she reads.]




This is me – Richard! The
“reading” is reading what is on my pen.

----------------------------------------------------------- -----------------------------------------------


                             … the endless procession of faces…

       …flitted… bars of light – sad faces and glad, haggard and

                          It was a foggy, cloudy morning…

                          an ebony table, inlaid

And she would have recovered her
youth, and indeed, in the photographs she looked young again – as I had known
her – full of life, somewhat sultry and moody – deeply wanting my love, my
loyalty, my affection – but time had passed and my only great love had began to
die – and now I saw this man, who had loved her – but at times it had been
unbearable, how could? – but at … at those times …something had broken inside
me; I came near madness…

…our fathers died, the distance
increased, she moved away…and now he was dead and she was…

I hung on pathetically to a

 and began to write (an continued in this new passion to read and write,
but what are words to the real love and passion of real life? (and of course,
what is real?).  became my primary pass  – I was “on fire” but
tormented as if indeed I was burning in Dante’s Hell (that book is puzzling his
Hell seems almost picturesque!). So indeed I burned, but I was perpetually in a
dark agony – and inside I had my own lands, like huge deserts or Arctics, of
aloneness – I was inhabited by immense gulphs or regions of des

…it was as if I had died or been
torn apart by  blood merciless wolves, and ocked, an' revile from its dark energy ideas began to whirl, to spin…I could create, and I
could live forever in language and my ‘great’ creations…but the ,,  the great hope seen maybe in late afternoon or sunset clouds, and the
mystery of the (immenze) possibilities of night, and some endlessly potential but
always evading            Deep              this   never came, (and yet its promise had power to cause some hope and generation);
and that spark, that fanatic spark of some new, would
never be mine – all I had were words. My               smd dead.

And the indiff. of  I no longer counted. I was no more
than (a) broke plate.

 A joke. A broke joker Toby Jug drop
in a rub bin.  I had, a' tha' 'ime, 'ame nofing.

So my belieff in ‘loyalty’

and so on…

                                                What horror does
the smothered scream, the twisting of the limbless hope, the desiccated death?

                   …and the moonless night was stitched with stars.
Why had that tattered old expression come to mind? It must have come from a
song. I was seeing the sky as I had once heard it described by some singer.

                      I had been rummaging among the records…

----------          ----------------          ---------------          -----------          ------------------

…in the sand, on that beach,
that thing you did, “Richard loves X”, was erased into
our lives…

_________              ___________________________________        ____________

     …they died…”Why did the Grandpa Taylor and my other Grandpa die?”

_________________________________  ________________________________

         there is deep sadness, or sadness, a
something wrong, deep in the heart or soul of my son

                but…                  there is hope…

                          things will, are,

  I emerged from the tragedy, amid a crowd of
radiant people, with the images of the two Germans falling into the ravine, and
of Gragnola, virgin and martyr – out of fear, out of love, and out of spite.

all things are baptized in a well of eternity and lie beyond good and evil.” Nietzsche.

had become a consolation for a life of disappointment, and deep-rooted loneliness…

the leaves of this plant are exactly like my little green charms!” cried the
fairy in surprise. “This would be a good place to hide them.”

   So she carefully fastened one of the charms
on to a clover leaf.

          The empty and haunted house is a
giant enigma of which the key is lost.

                     What’s missing? Nothing.
But that is everything…in a word – that flower of life Titian and Raphael took
by surprise….The figure presented such a powerful embodiment fo reality.

          Thus for the enthusiastic Poussin, the old man had, in a
sudden transfiguration, become art itself, art with its secrets, its passions,
its reveries.

            …by dint of drowning the contours
of my figure in kisses of half-tint, I have contrived to do away with the very
idea of drawing and other artificial methods, and give her the rounded aspect
of nature itself. Come closer…from far it disappears…


‘The Unknown Masterpiece’ by Balzac.)

           … always invisible, even though one
crossed  and recrossed it daily…

                                                                       all those years



                    I thought it fitting that


                                    I thought
it fitting that my last hours                       


                                                              I thought it fitting




                I thought it


Dekker also
talks about the extraordinary innovativeness of the work…

           “Four and a half minutes of e flat…”

 I thought it fitting that my last hours in the town should be spent with
an artist whose work was lost on the world.

  Mongolia, Mongolia, you are mine. Mine. Mongolia: I love you because
you are Mongolia.

The painter said that man could
dream nothing stranger than the simplest image that occurs to another dreamer.



But are not our deep emotions the
poetry of the mind?

[Despite Camus’s rejection of the
need for fundamental insight  and the
possibility of  hope inside the
hopelessness of the eternally rock-rolling Sisyphus,  Brian Greene, after reading Feynman…Brian Greene says: ‘The
search for the deepest understanding of the cosmos became my life blood.’] [But
they fail, for the search, so noble in itself as it continues as long as humans
exist, is endless.]

              All her journies have begun and ended with this
enormous, quiet country.

                                    Those fierce eyes…

    Also I love the isolation, secularization [!!] of the words,
phrases, fragments of language or utterance

[They fail, the search is

                Alone in the darkness she might have been the woman
of three generations before, who had been addressed each day for fifteen years.


               Knowing nothing of death or time or the time we
know: the joy and endless excitement of children inhabits eternity. It is
impossible that this excitement should cease.

The woman might therefore have
considered the chief advantage of so many years spent among unlooked-for
plains, with a man who had still not explained himself, to be that it had once
allowed her to postulate the existence of a woman whose future included even
the unlikely prospect of half a lifetime spent among unlooked-for plains with a
man who would never explain himself.

[No idea where this is from but a
wild guess is some prose work (stories) by Laura Riding but I am not sure.]


                                It was erased into our

There were weeks when I spoke to
no one on that great estate.


       A valley of real suffering and often deceptive joys, the
sight of empty skulls, or of withered hearts?

              Although their cold, hard faces were worn, like those
on coins withdrawn from circulation, their withered mouths were armed with avid


………………………… …………………         ……………

 Although there is still controversy, most physicists agree that
probability is deeply woven into the fabric of quantum reality. Whereas human
intuition, and its embodiment in classical physics envisions a reality in which
things are always definitely one way or another, quantum mechanics describes a
reality in which things sometimes hover in a haze of being partly one way and
partly another. Things become definite only when a suitable observation forces
them to relinquish quantum possibilities and settle on a specific outcome. The
outcome that’s realized though, cannot be predicted – we can predict only the
odds and ends that will turn out one way or another.

 This, plainly speaking, is weird. We are used to a reality that remains
ambiguous until perceived. 



     They are the eyes of a man who has gazed beyond death.

                        ,for I would not relinquish the memory of
his soft kiss  for anything on this

The Feynman diagram for beta decay
of a neutron into a proton and an electron antineutrino via an intermedite
heavy boson.

The young man has found himself
adrift, between the dark voice of despair and the moving, sacred harmonies of
the cathedral bell.

are few psychic wounds that solitude cannot heal



                                                        (   it was erased into our lives


                          …having apparently decided that a book
this ideal, this virtual, this ghostly could hardly be considered a
non-exportable treasure of ‘le patrimoine national’.

  …I had the privilege of perusing…

           …sheets with no
more than a miniscule scatter of words on them…

have shored…up against                      

….having understood virtually

  his face bore the ineradicable trace of some bitter sorrow, some
unending pain

suffering falls silent in her presence.

  He didn’t look too much like a bridegroom, … with a twist of his dry
face, and a screw in his body, and his hat jerked over the bridge of his nose,
and his whole sarcastic ill-conditioned self peeping out of one little corner
or one little eye, like the concentrated essence of any number of ravens…


                                        Repetition is truth.

                                 As the work went on and ramified.



                                          ‘The Book of the Book

  perform for  a

 sudden  spasm


                                                                          he became abstract


                                                                       he moved

                                                                       he became

                                                                       what is it endures?

                                                                       What vanisheth?

 For the
beauty and wrath of the body are not enough.                                                            


                                             it was erased into

loneliness are the fretting voices of the mind, crying, Let us not be silent.
Let us manifest life.

But the
tree was a seed and a stem before it bore fruit: do we not grudge it the time
of growth.

                       …the form spoke with
the light hissing whispers of serpents. The terns cried aloud, finding no
foothold in the air. They cried and sank…

                 There is no more death in her

Instead of necessarily keeping a diary or a journal (such are the or
some of the things he has told me in conversation are valuable, or can be….);
Richard Taylor keeps notebooks so that as he reads ( and sometimes he has
several different books ‘on the go’ – say books on art history, or a novel, or
a book about the sun or cell biology, or sometimes a children’s book): he will
take notes from these books and date them. Richard has said to Richard T. tha

Wildly optimistic and happy
housewives dance across the surfaces of the work of  Mark Ussher. Referencing N.Z. cultural iconography from the 1950s
and 60s, Ussher’s paintings have a tough enamel shine that…life of a 1950s
housewife…suburban home.

…Ussher appropriates advertisements
of the 1950s and 60s…the simple [   ]
slogans clearly contrast with the more invidious advertising messages of today.

     …inform his art practice…Utilising…and measured markings…
thick industrial enamel paints…to imbue

    …to imbue….                  …to imbue

 vivid gleam……..exudes                        …exudes




Margaret Butler  (1883–1947)

An example is this fine figure The
Dreamer ca 1932 (Figure 24), a study of a young girl in reverie. The
composition is subtle and rhythmic. The girl is seated with one leg distended
lethargically, the other drawn up under the drooping head and arms to form a
flowing compact form…The surfaces are varied to break up the fall of light so
that the movement of forms is complemented by the flow of light and dark…an
emphasis on the inner world of thought and the subconscious [sa with Rodin’s The
], though, in Butler’s work there is a more subtle erotic overtone…

[From N.Z. Sculpture – a
by Michael Dunn.




Cameron Webster                                                                          Born: 1983, Auckland

Sculpture.  Maori narrative extensions of Maori Mateitea
(oral histories)…as well as  memories
and expressions of his own experiences.

Webster’s vessels evoke the role
of kaitiakitanga (guardianship) and Ipu Whenua (placenta pots) where
such forms are used for ceremonial purposes to keep intact the traditions of
planting the placenta back into the land – feeding our own being with the

Webster develops a connection with
the ocean and the land not only through the choice of relevant political
themes, but also through the more elemental components of texture and the
tactile qualities of each piece

  …carrying forward the mantle of Maori art…


 (Margaret Butler)                                                                                  25.8.2011


She was almost forgotten when she
died in 1947, coincidentall7y in the same year as Frances Hodgkins. The writer
Eileen Duggan, in her Evening Post tribute to her at the time, saw in Margaret
Butler ‘the frustration of the artist whose body could not cope with the
imperiousness of her gift.’ Yet she overcame her natural disabilities to be
acclaimed as a sculptor in France – an important measure of her achievement.

[From New Zealand Sculpture – a
by Michael Dunn.]


 4 a.m.    (the morning of  the 24th)                                                                23.11.2011


The plants best suited to such
circumstances [the El Nino drought and dryness deep in Australia] sent down
deep roots to search for moisture, used narrow leaves and tough bark to
minimize evaporation and loss of vital fluid, and scattered seeds capable of regeneration
after lying for long periods on the dry earth. They were frugal in their eking
out of nutrients and prodigal in their reproduction. Some of them, such as the
stands of eucalypts which spread a blue haze under the hot sun, actively
enlisted the assistance of the conditions by strewing the ground with
incendiary material that would burn off competitors and stimulate their own
regeneration. In the pyrohistory of Australia, the vast and sleeping continent
is reconfigured as an arena in which the gum trees kindled a fiery vortex.

[From  A Concise History of Australia by Stuart McIntyre.]




William Thomas T. Trethewey     (1892-1956)

Trethewey’s statue of Dr. Margaret Cruikshank,
erected in 1923 at Waimate where she had practiced medicine, has an effect of
simplicity and strength (Plate 9). The Cruikshank is notable because it is one
of the rare monuments of a woman (other than Queen Victoria) commissioned in NZ.
As the first woman doctor to practice in NZ, Cruikshank won community praise
for her role as a selfless care-giver who had died ministering to her patients
in the influenza epidemic of 1918. Trethewey…She is depicted clad in an
academic gown to indicate her exceptional status as a qualified doctor at a
time when few women took up the profession. Sometimes called the ‘Florence
Nightingale of the South’, Cruikshank embodied moral values that let public
support for commemoration by a statue.




FATHER: Our guilt feelings? Not
so. I have never quieted my guilt feelings with words alone.

STEPDAUGHTER: It took a little
money as well, didn’t it, it took a little dough! Three hundred lire he was
going to pay me ladies and gentlemen!

[Moment of horror among the

SON: [with contempt towards the

That’s filthy.

------------------------------------- -----------------------------

…but I assure you he was very
pale, at that moment [To the DIRECTOR]. You must believe me, sir.

DIRECTOR: You lost me some time

FATHER: Of course! Getting it
thrown at you like that! And never mind the ferocious girl. She’s trying to
heap opprobrium on me by withholding the relevant explanation!

STEPDAUGHTER: This is no place for longwinded

FATHER:  I said – explanations.

STEPDAUGHTER: Oh, certainly, those
that suit your turn.

[From Six Characters in Search
of an Author
by Luigi Pirandello.]




                             …Already all confusion. Things and
imaginings. As of always. Confusion amounting to nothing. Despite precautions.
If only she could be pure figment. Unalloyed. The old so dying woman. So dead.
In the madhouse of the skull an nowhere else. Where no more precautions to be
taken. No precautions possible. Cooped up in there with the rest. Hovel and
stones. The lot. And the eye. How simple all then. If only all could be pure
figment. Neither be nor been nor by any shift to be. Gently gently. On.

[From Ill Said, Ill Seen by
Samuel Beckett.]




[At this point the DIRECTOR
returns to the stage to restore order.]

FATHER: But that’s the whole root
of evil. Words. Each of us has. Inside him, a world of things as they are
inside me, whereas the man who hears them inevitably receives them in the sense
and with the value they have for him, the sense and value of the world inside
him? We think we understand each other but we never do. Consider: the
compassion I feel for this woman [the MOTHER] has been received by her as the
most ferocious of cruelties!

MOTHER: You ran me out of the

FATHER: Hear that? Ran her out. It
seemed to her that I ran her out.


FATHER: If only we only could
forsee all the evil that can result from the good we believe we are doing!




  Nothing now for the staring eye but the chair in its solitude.








 Getting to the bottom of things mattered a great deal to Ester.
Surfaces, she felt, were a ruse. They couldn’t be trusted. There was so much
more beneath the surface of words and people, beneath everything in fact, and
her secret passion was to plumb these hidden depths.

  …this formlessness of water carried a promise of dissolution… a return
…[full of] possibility.




 Most of what I record or write in these pages is quoted from
other word stores, but I do write my own things.


‘So strangely strange that he grew
into his own strangeness.’

That is me writing around the time
that Michael Jackson died. Not that I like him (or any pop music as such but I
can see he had a huge talent, and what I have heard by him is very good).




consists of these little touches of solitude).

[From Camera Lucida by
Roland Barthes.]




[..on Jude Rae (NZ artist)]

 ….she even eschews the hectic red* of fire extinguishers 

     …bottles, boxes, and vases…

 …translucent blue vase counterpointed by a tall brown bottle and
whole [is thus] transformed…


                                    …orange edge…

…great dignity

                                               ..that is all light…

 …where light is absorbed and reflected

                       and made to sing…

 (Mathew Browne)

                           …loops and circles poised…

(Peter Gibson Smith)

[From T. J. McNamara At the
in the N.Z. Herald 31.8.2011]

* ‘hectic red’

 is a ‘quote from’ from Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind. [I
dare to surmise]

---------------------------------------------------------------- -----------------------------------------




  “…Facts – The Popular Encyclopedia contains nothing but facts,
the facts of the world, clearly and straightforewardly presented.” Saying this,
he seemed to be sunk in a well of facts, all of which spelled the walled-in
dismal hopelessness of human life. The world’s books were boxes of flesh-eating
worms, crawling sentences that had eaten the universe hollow.”

[From In the Beauty of the
by John Updike.]




  He stood baffled, looking about the dining room for some exterior sign
of the fatal alteration with him. There is no God. With a wink of
thought, the universe had been bathed in the pitch-smooth black of utter
hopelessness. Yet no exterior change of colour betrayed the event…three decades
of exposure and ingrained dust: none fo these mute surfaces reflected the
sudden absence of God from the Universe –

[From In the Beauty of the
by John Updike.]




 We gather now what we call space,

 this glassy void round Aniara’s hull,

 is Spirit, everlasting and elusive,

 and we are lot in coeans of the Spirit


 She is borne in something which exists

 But need not follow in the ways of thought,

 Through God and Death and Mystery she goes,

space-ship without trace or goal.

 Oh, could we but turn back to our bse

 (now we have fatbeomed wht our space-ship is

 - a tiny bubble in a glass of God.


                             a tiny bubble in a glass of God.

[From Aniara by Harry




 Thompson’s oft-repeated concerns about the growth of philistinism, and
his belief that poetry is as important to human progress¹ as economics, are
more relevant than ever in an era when the market  and the mass media treat works of literature and  art as  com-

modities to be flourished and
consumed rather than for thought and debate².


1.    We should perhaps write “progress if this can be defined”. In
what way have we or can we progress? Is there such a thing?

2.    The vigorous and hopeful words that only a young, idealistic
or ‘hopeful’ man would proclaim.




 Light had felt its way in under the dry green window shade above
the spines of the radiator and was standing beside here bed when the unhappy
tangle of her dreams fell away and she dared open her eyes. Like a leak in a
great tank of darkness the light had seeped into all the familiar things of her

    …The world is like stones: dreams and thoughts flow over them.




  Photography for Ghirri is a communication
that, as pure appearance, produces amazement and dislocation, for it introduces
into the world something not yet shown, not yet revealed. This thing is
specific: an event or moment unlike any previous one, a perceptual exception –
a variation on lived experience, but one with something new  and surprising hidden as latent within it.
Photography dissolves our certainties and makes every instant unknown. It makes
distinctions between true and false arbitrary in the sense that its description
of those polarities is overcome by its interpretation of them, an exposition in
which these opposites overlap – and that overlap is part of photography’s
identity. In exposing and expressing and demonstrating the “doubt” between real
and unreal, Ghirri describes their boundaries and attributes…he brings into
play another trait: “simulation”, the equivalence between true and false on the
same surface. In the Atlanta (Atlas; pp 25-28) work, the map, or part of
it, becomes a “sign”; through cropping and removal, something potential shines
through. Ghirri reveals language by developing an “abstract” language of

[From a book of Ghirri’s

----------- ----------------   --------------------

Ponchielli    (1834-86) ‘The Dance of the Hours’ [The
Gaconda] based on

a text by Victor Hugo.


The Book Launch of 'Celanie' by Jack Ross and Emma Neale and 

introduced by Michelle Leggott


Poets Michelle Leggott and Jack Ross.

Emma Neale - artist. She did the art work for Jack Ross's book 'Celanie'...

A book of Celan's poems.  







Luigi Ghirri 1943-1992 [49]

  Paul Dukas – ( re..increasingly critical standards’…)

 He points out that the word oceano
(ocean; p.26), or black palm-tree icons (p.28) to show a “writing” that,
isolated or focused on in this way, has no meaning but is solely “appearance”.
Here there is yet another interpretive use of the power of photography to
“suppress” the world in order to rake it to another dimension, a phantasmatic
dimension that conveys a way of looking and seeing, nothing else

            It becomes a poem, everything is poetry – everything is
everything is everything.


  Photography is a limbo-link universe, a ghostly habitat without
boundaries or limits, a territory in which fog reigns supreme, as it does in
Emilia where Ghirri grew up.

Here the boundaries of winter and
night mingle, intersect, and fluctuate, making things inseperable.

[William Eggleton “It’s beautiful
here, isn’t it?’… a book of photographs by Luigi Ghirri]




speaking, the later development of Alison Duff was more private, more
idiosyncratic and consequently less known. Unlike Macalister [Molly] Duff
became reclusive, rarely appearing in public…The Sargeson is a half-length
figure shoing the writer in animation as if engaged in a lively discussion
(Figure 54.)…emphasis on the mental rather than the physical…

                                         …has a broad, blocky
approach to the modeling…

[Dunn on NZ Sculpture.]




  Photography’s recognition of itself not as a
simple condition but as  a participant
in visual limbo from which to extract forms, opens up to an infinite horizon
for evoking a description of the world. No one can claim to be the world’s
interpreter or witness: at the same time, if photography drops any claim to the
absolute, its repertory becomes limitless…In 1970 Ghirri’s work  began to manifest an enigmatic exchange
between reality and fiction, anticipating photography’s future in work by Cindy
Sherman, Sandy Skoglund, Gregory Crewdson, Laurie Simmons and others who would
“theatricalize” the image as a universe created in front of the camera.
Although Ghirri does not claim that stance, he prefigures it in that he
confuses the apparent world with the real one, “fuses” together real  and unreal “realities”, as in some of the
images comprising Paesaggi di cartore and in Ferrara, 1981, from
Topographic-Iconographic (Topography-iconography), which raise questions about
the reliability of the gaze. 




majuscule / ‘m ae d z, skju : l
/  n. & adj. – n. Paleo
1  a large letter, whether capital of
uncial. 2. large lettering – adj. of, written in, or concerning majuscules. []
[] majuscular / aa’dz ^ kj ule® / adj. [F. f. L majuscula (littera letter),
dimin of MAJOR]




Ponchiello, Amikare

In fact, Ghirri’s work
usually addresses the most profound dimension of photographic thought: the
metaphysical distinction between real and apparent…The photograph shows not
reality itself. It is a communication that “simulates” reality – a pure

    One way…this reciprocity between the real
and apparent was [shown] by bringing mirror and object into the same frame. [In
the ‘mirror photos’] Ghirri was working toward a photograph that “sees” itself,
that is reflected in what happens around it – an empty surface over which images
pass. It has its end within itself yet also has an immediate relationship with
actual things – indeed, it too, is a thing, which explains Ghirri’s use of
visual collages (Modena, 1979, from Still-Life; p. 57), and
dissolves (Modena, 1972, and Fotographe del periodo iniziale
[Photographs from the early period]; p. 61), devices that transform the
photograph into a substance, and object, an object, perceived through its
materiality. Also, the merging of two or more images on the same surface
demonstrates the capacity of the photograph to appear and disappear, to hide
itseld and reveal itself – a capacity [that allows?] no reassurance of  the “true”. In combining these elements
Ghirri revokes the “truth” of the image and makes of it an “event” created by an
author, a window that opens onto the world yet is open, nondefinitive in form.

  Freed from its burden of reportorial clarity
it becomes a place of surprises. It integrates many discourses of the surface,
which can become a receptor for flows of images of every different type …
aleatory meanings based on chance encounters between images – posters
juxtaposing life and death (Modena, 1973, from Kodachrome, P79.),
paper bricks and real bricks, or the surprise meeting of Disney and Fidel
Castro (Modena, 1972, from Paesaggi di cartone; p.80)




For the first time concept and
theory attained a new status.

Jim Allen was crucial …of
conceptual and Post-Object art to…

        …video with sound [then new]

                         [crucial]                  [attained]

    process rather than product…[emphasis on]

          not everyone accepted the …  convulsions…

        Theoretically anyone could take part.

What was the function of an art
gallery, how did it transform the objects…, how did it… validate certain works
and values while denying others?

W.R. (Jim) Allen, Arena,
1970, mixed media with barbed wire, Barry Lett Galleries, Auckland.   Installation.

Leon Northey, Real Time,
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth. Installation.



                  In the west a red moon

                  And suddenly my memories fit me



    The materials…

               …long established,,,

    bronze, steel, paint; …


                  My images are small and complex…but [x] is about
ideas not the precision splendour of hand-worked material.

    I often cast direct from life –

 I work in bursts…through change. I use the elements: arms legs, spheres,
bikes, apples, rulers, as building blocks and play out ideas until the products
seem inevitable. I cant plan a work in advance:

                                 I enjoy using human elements or [
say] the complexity of a motor bike. … A cube or sphere can be any size…[re a
work he made in 1972-73]  People are
about 2 metres tall, a motor bike is ridden so we know its size…what happens to
our perception if we if we distort this relationship? And what do we relate our
sphere to?

[Greer Twiss in New Art –
SomeRecent N.Z. sculpture and Post-Object Art. 
Ed. Jim Allen & Wystan Curnow.]




 Today I helped Bill  (my friend who is a mechanic, he is not ‘literary’)
to fix my car. Before this, Victor and I went for a walk and played over a
Capablanca ending in a game he played vs. Lasker and by 2 pm Bill arrived.

 I helped as much as I could with the car by taking off bolts etc.
E.g. I took off those to the water pump cover. We were re-installing a new
head-gaskett so we did the pump also and intended to change the auto-power steering
belt, First we had to remove the cover. It was hard going, working to get it
all together before dark. We made it but the plugs were a problem (my plug
spanner’s “wall” diameter is too thick) but Bill managed to get them in.

 Went for a test run.

 Doing this, a part of me yearned that I had been Practical Man.

 Bill is sometimes..... he was his father’s “biggest disappointment”. His mother left his father,
who later wrote a letter apologizing for the bad things.

 Yet Bill is ......ic, ruined their lives.




 I draw as a means of quitting myself of thoughts that wont work
any other way…as a way of establishing interest. I cut books, magazines…I cut
out images. I keep boxes of them I move the images around,, things tickle my
brain and puns, contradictions, relationships, develop, are established then
get put away. Drawings are sort of playways to broad concepts, very seldom
specific except for technical problems.

I don’t want to provide solutions,
I want to confuse with a sense of direction.

-------------------- --------------------- --------------------

 Its still pliable but looks and behaves in a manner alien to rope.

                Alien Rope

[Greer Twiss (ibid.) (except the
italic phrase)]




Note re Greer Twiss.

He was our art teacher at Tamaki
Intermediate in about 1961-2. ‘We’ boys (not I as I was a very quiet boy at
school) used to give him ‘hell’ and we called him ‘Mr Tiwsted’.

He was pale and looked quite thin and
strange with shock of violently red hair. I recall thinking even at that age that
he would have to turn out to be a genius (he was then  unknown as a sculptor) genius with such a look etc He married in
that time another teacher there called Deirdre Kirton. She started the Tamaki
Chess Club and we used to come down and play (later I became the Club Champion
as did my friend Glenn Turner before me.) Bill and Barry Lee (later to become
members of the Communist Party and leaders of the PYM in the late 60s to 70s)
played, as did Noel Eyre.

I remember his sculpture in K
Road. I recall ‘approving’ [ca 1969] of this work as I knew about Giacometti
etc (It is an important addition to Auckland’s culture.)

More recently in late 2011 I
contacted him on FB. Deirdre remembered me.


                                                                                 14. 12 .2011


 The works are still being made. They change daily, hourly, sourly.

 Did you know that you can die from the fumes given off from
melting lead?

[Greer Twiss. [Ibid.]]






 Instead of necessarily keeping a diary or a journal (such are the or
some of the things he has told me in conversation are valuable, or can be….);
Richard Taylor keeps notebooks so that as he reads ( and sometimes he has
several different books ‘on the go’ – say books on art history, or a novel, or
a book about the sun or cell biology, or sometimes a children’s book): he will
take notes from these books and date them. Richard has said to Richard T. that
some of the ‘entries’ seem either inane, eccentric or pathetic and asks: “who
would want to read these entries or comments or fragments large or small?”…and
Richard 221 feels it is al rather futile but Richard 10 has told me it gives
them a kind of pleasure as if  he
in fact being read already by a large (or small readership). It is a kind of
enacting. A kind of talking. A conversation with the universe or with
himselves. (Poor Henry Bones.) The resultant ‘mix’ is a kind of record of his
and other’s consciousness or of their creative works and ideas. He doesn’t necessarily
read useful or ‘deep’ or meaningful works. Once he read a book about dust. A
Lady Bird book gets almost equal status with books on mathematics, or art, or a
novel in fact there is, they say, no limit on what they may or may not or will
or will not read.

 Their comment is that in some cases it is the texture of the
writing so sedulously or sensuously recorded (almost always onto paper in
special note book – the pen in most cases has to be also of  a special kind, Richard 88c indicates that
he-they are ambitious for a fountain pen, indeed Richard 20990 recall when he
first had an ‘Osmiroid’ and how he loved the feel, action and act of that pen, and
indeed its wonderful and mysterious name.)

 But Richard
2553 records that more recently the meaning (or perhaps the textual texture) of
what he is reading is also assuming a greater significance (Richard 34
expostulates that this is leading to a “twee effect” where by choice bits are
taken out and “exhibited” as in a kind of rather pathetic or weak minded ‘Commonplace
Book’, but in this Richard 240 is quite adamant there is no concern here, as
each being’s “scrawling”, in blue red or green or black ink, is unique to his
her or their self or selves…)…

 It has indeed been said that this is a sub-section of the Infinite
Poem but Richard 233333333333 maintains that every one HE knows groans and
rolleth in upwards their ball eyes at such bold balderdashing slobber blobber…;
but R 300 feels that the idea that in theory, at least, anything could
be used as, as well as being a ‘conscious’ trace of ‘consciousness traced’ and
an “Aspiring to The Infinite” and or a total trace of all sentience; or indeed
as being a ‘history or congregation of sentience in part’; these fragments
(small or large, combined or not, interactive or not, self-talking or not, useful
or not, meaningful or not…) and ‘scrawlings’; this huge splitting craquelure
desiring some hint or haunt of God or some transcendence hinted if not arrived
upon, these appendiae, screaming through the gold godless dusk of the ending
start of evening’s sensual turn, these indeed can or may be used as elements or
factors in larger ‘Art’ works or projects such as EYELIGHT or works or bizzaros
spawned if not spurned fomr and by the near infinite psuedo-randomly generated “hoo-echo”
of the well known Bone Ghost…in case in any in any any in any case Richard 20,211
feeleth quite certitude….that, that, that there is both a therapeutic and a
Creative aspect.

Of course, any pathetic bastard who mutters all day to itself and holds
forth endlessly in “grand converse” with the driveling Universe (or even God
Herself) and various of the Elite and indeed the well known Stars, many of whom
are Richards friends and have lived at least 200 million million years to
Explode alive: and stupid bastard of such a mien or methodless method is
clearly, and quite wonderfully, insane.